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Vox Sentences: North Carolina’s redistricting goes back to the drawing board

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Two federal judges strike down North Carolina’s districts as unconstitutional; an oil tanker in the East China Sea is on fire after a serious collision.

Two federal judges deal partisan gerrymandering a huge blow

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images
  • Two federal judges ruled North Carolina’s congressional districts unconstitutional on Tuesday night because they gave one party an advantage (a practice known as partisan gerrymandering). [NYT / Alan Blinder and Michael Wines]
  • The ruling is a blow to North Carolina Republicans, who redrew the state’s voting districts after a 2016 special legislative session. The judges ruled that Republicans had redrawn the maps to their political advantage, which they found was a violation of the Constitution. [Charlotte Observer / Anne Blythe]
  • The ruling marks the first time a federal court has ruled that partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts is unconstitutional — a question that’s currently before the Supreme Court. [Vox / Dylan Matthews]
  • If you’re wondering how gerrymandering works, consider this. In the 2016 elections, Republicans won just over half of the statewide popular vote, but they still managed to capture 10 out of 13 congressional seats. [Washington Post / Christopher Ingraham]
  • Congressional redistricting usually takes place every 10 years to reflect population changes. Typically, state legislatures are the one in charge, and partisan gerrymandering happens when districts are redrawn to benefit a particular political party. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Now that the ruling has been issued, the state must redraw its maps in a fair manner, with a three-week deadline. That means a new map will likely be in place before this year’s midterm elections. [CNN / Steve Almasy]

An oil tanker in the East China Sea has been on fire for four days

  • Somewhere in the East China Sea, a huge oil tanker has been on fire for the past four days, with the entire crew missing. [Washington Post / Amanda Erickson]
  • The Iranian oil tanker known as the Sanchi was carrying crude oil to South Korea when it collided with a Chinese freight ship this weekend. Rescue crews have been trying to reach the ship and put out the fire since then. [Reuters / Josephine Mason and Yuna Park]
  • Rescuers are also looking for the ship’s crew, which included 32 sailors from Iran and Bangladesh. One body has been recovered so far, but the rest are still missing. [CNN / Nanlin Fang and Angela Dewan]
  • Beyond fears about the crew, there are also serious environmental concerns if the blaze continues or the tanker explodes. It was carrying about 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude oil. Officials say no spill has happened yet, but there are fears it could unless crews can put out the fire and stop an explosion. [BBC]


  • California cannot seem to catch a break. Weeks after devastating wildfires in Southern California, some of the same areas are now dealing with deadly mudslides caused by torrential rain. [CNN / Jason Hanna, Paul Vercammen, and Faith Karimi]
  • If you’re having a bad day, consider the case of a Russian man who stole an armored vehicle and crashed into a storefront ... and then proceeded to steal a single bottle of wine. [Moscow Times]
  • As the conversation around sexual assault grows, there is a vulnerable group being left out of the conversation: people with intellectual disabilities. Their risk of sexual assault is at least seven times higher than for those without. [NPR / Joseph Shapiro]
  • As if smartphones couldn’t already do enough, just wait until they start whispering sounds to transfer data. [Wired / Klint Finley]


“I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending.” [Warren Buffett, giving his two cents on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies / CNBC]

Watch this: The real reason Amelia Earhart is so famous

A carefully executed publicity campaign turned a pretty average pilot into an aviation legend. [YouTube / Coleman Lowndes]

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